“Baroque Topologies” is a lecture and parallel exhibition by Andrew Saunders, Associate Professor, PennDesign Department of Architecture. The era of “big data” has fostered the need for new approaches to analysis and representation in all fields of design. The ability to capture, record and simulate increasingly larger sets of data coupled with remote access to cloud computing and progressively more affordable additive fabrication technology provides new opportunities and methods for understanding and assessing complexity and representation in architecture.
“Baroque Topologies” examines the potential of these new methods to redefine and enhance knowledge and understanding of the full spectrum of formal and spatial complexity of Baroque architecture. As the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation grant, Saunders traveled to Italy to laser scan and amass an archive of some of the most important Italian Baroque architecture. The archive includes key works from Francesco Borromini, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Girolamo and Carlo Rainaldi, Pietro da Cortona, Guarino Guarini and Bernardo Vittone. The primary Baroque works selected for analysis can be deciphered as topological variants of the centrally planned church of the Renaissance. The collection demonstrates the blossoming evolution from the early and high baroque in Rome extending to the late baroque in the Piedmont Region in Northern Italy.
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